Posted December 13, 2015 15:49:06

Former battery farm turkeys in a cage, about to be released Photo: These former battery farm turkeys had been destined for the Christmas table. (ABC News: Lucy Shannon)

Animal rights campaigners claim factory-farmed turkeys endure some of the worst suffering of any farmed animals, but the business rejects the allegations.

Up to five million turkeys are killed annually in Australia, several for Christmas festivities.

Tasmanian animal rights campaigner and the operator of Brightside Animal Sanctuary, Emma Haswell, wants shoppers to feel about where their Christmas meal is coming from.

“[In factory farms] it is just unbelievable,” she said.

“There’s no space to move, the aggravation in the birds imply they fight, so they reduce their toes off.”

The Australasian Turkey Federation has rejected these claims.

The federation’s vice president, John Watson, said in a statement if such therapy was commonplace the business would not be viable.

Ms Haswell has adopted 12 former factory-farm turkeys at her sanctuary in the Huon Valley.

“They’d never been outdoors, [they have been] just kept in a shed with a stocking price of six turkeys per square metre and they would have been for the dinner plate,” she claimed.

“[There are] extremely, quite higher ammonia levels in the sheds, it really is just appalling,” she added.

Ms Haswell’s sanctuary offers visits for school young children in an effort to connect them with animals they may generally only see as meat.

“The factor is we all connect with a dog or a cat because we see them daily and they’re component of our family members but due to the fact we do not get to meet animals like these turkeys we don’t stop to think that they interact with men and women in exactly the exact same way as a dog or a cat if they are offered the opportunity,” she said.

Volunteer Mehr Gupta hands a rescued turkey to Brightside Farm Sanctuary founder Emma Haswell Photo: Volunteer Mehr Gupta hands a rescued turkey to Brightside Farm Sanctuary founder Emma Haswell. (ABC News: Lucy Shannon)

The vast bulk of turkeys consumed in Australia will be developed by industry giants Inghams and Steggles.

With some turkey meat getting sold for as small as $ five a kilo, the industry believes most buyers are not prepared to spend considerably greater rates expected for cost-free variety birds.

Even so, Hobart butcher Marcus Vermey has seen a modify in customer demand.

He says he is ordering much more cost-free-variety birds each year.

“People want to know exactly where its from, how its grown, they do not want it injected with any distinct sort of chemical substances and things like that” he mentioned.

Topics: livestock-welfare, animal-welfare, activism-and-lobbying, human-interest, tas

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